YEOMAN - Pronunciation: "yo-man" - One that performs great and loyal service, performed in a valiant, workmanlike manner. Especially in situations that involve a great deal of effort or labour.
These gentlemen, Bob Ross, Larry Nancekevill, Mike Dinning, along with others were the core of the club which ran its first International tour in 1973 to play clubs in Europe. The club was then known as the York Yeomen. The club continued to grow and prosper as more members continued to join. The membership was not just limited to the York University graduates but the community at large.
In just ten short years, the club advanced to its’ first Ontario Finals in 1982 then called the Carling Cup. The game was a hotly contested battle between rivals Ottawa Irish and the York Yeomen. Ottawa Irish won the game 9-3 in overtime in dreadful conditions. The York Yeomen returned to the Carling Cup finals in 1983 again to lose 4-0 to the Ottawa Irish.
In 1992, the club moved from York University to the Huntington Golf and Country Club. It was at this time that we dropped the York from our title. The relationship at Huntington was tenuous at best and in 1997 we moved to our home at Claireville Conservation. During this time the club enjoyed tremendous success winning both the league championship and McCormick Cups in 1993, 1994, and 1995 as well as playing in most finals in each year and still the only club in Ontario Rugby history to win the triple double (League and Cup Champions 3 years in a row!). The Yeomen were league champions in 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, and 1998. Under the leadership of then coach Bruce Smith, the team enjoyed a tremendous amount of success naming players like Bill Handson, Slatko Cvitak, John Hutchison, and Joe Pagano to the Canadian National team. Bill Handson played in the first ever World Cup in Australia in 1987, John Hutchison played in the World Cup in 1995 in South Africa, while Joe Pagano played in the 1999 World Cup in England.
In 2002, the Yeomen celebrated 30 years of “rucking rugby”. The Yeomen celebrated the anniversary having won the McCormick Cup in 2001 under coaches Demech Kokkinakis and Carlos Moniz. During this period, players like Steve Staffieri, Robert and Mike Barbieri began to make their mark on the international scene.
Robert and Mike left the club to pursue professional contracts in Italy with Robert Barbieri also named to wear the Italian National jersey at the World Cup in France in 2011.